Passenger in vehicle that fled before deadly police-involved shooting accused of drug possession

The third person in the car that was involved in a deadly police pursuit appeared in court on Saturday. Robert Motley is being charged with a third-degree felony of drug possession and held on $75,000 bond. His case is connected to the police K-9 that was shot Friday afternoon following a pursuit that ended in a crash on Busch Drive near the Jacksonville Zoo.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The third person in the car that was involved in a deadly police pursuit appeared in court on Saturday.

Robert Motley is being charged with a third-degree felony of drug possession and held on $75,000 bond.

A public defender who representing Motley told a judge he was not the driver, not the shooter and he did surrender.

His case is connected to the police K-9 that was shot Friday afternoon following a pursuit that ended in a crash on Busch Drive near the Jacksonville Zoo.

JSO said officers were dispatched that afternoon to a call of gunshots in the area of Commonwealth Avenue and Division Street.

An officer saw a vehicle matching a description of a potential suspect vehicle and while attempting to contact the people inside the vehicle, there was an exchange of gunfire on West 45th Street, JSO said.

Then the police chase started.

Once it ended near the zoo, officers said they gave commands for the three people inside the vehicle to surrender and two did not comply.

A decision was made to send K-9 Huk into the vehicle.

At least one suspect fired a weapon and police said the dog was struck. JSO said five officers returned fire and the dog was brought to safety, though it was hit by three bullets. JSO said two people in the vehicle that was being pursued died at the scene.

Motley surrendered and was transported for injuries related to the crash. He was not struck by gunfire.

JSO said Motley was found with methamphetamine on him, but his lawyer said it was for personal use.

In court he said he owns a lawn care business and cares for two minors and an adult.

Motley had one previous charge on his record for uttering a forged bill but it was dropped through a diversion program.

His attorney asked the court to lower his bond to $10,000.

“Motley was the one person in the vehicle that surrendered himself to authorities. At no point in time was it ever alleged he had a gun,” his attorney said. “He was not the driver of the vehicle and therefore had no control over the vehicle at the time of this incident.”

But the judge decided to go with the state’s recommended bond of $75,000, which was reccomended due to the severity of the crimes his charge was connected with.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.